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Topic: Machinery and equipment

ladder checklist
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Ladder checklist

Ladder checklist

Many accidents occur because users don’t check the condition of the ladder first, or fail to make checks after repairs have been made. In order to reduce these risks, get your staff into the habit of checking equipment first.

Ladder checklist

According to recent figures from the Health & Safety Executive, an average of 13 people a year die at work as a result of falling from ladders and a further 1,200 suffer major injuries. Some of these accidents are caused by using broken or damaged ladders as well as climbing those which have not been repaired properly. One way of reducing the likelihood of such an accident occurring is to introduce a Ladder Checklist. Ours refers to upright ladders, including those which extend. It is divided into three sections:

All ladders

The first section contains questions that are common to all types of ladder construction. For example, obvious questions as to the ladder’s overall appearance and whether or not there are any rungs damaged or missing. Then it moves onto less obvious ones concerning whether or not the ladder has been painted, which can hide all but the most obvious defects, and the state of the footpads. Other questions concern the rope and pulley system for extension ladders and whether any repairs made to the ladder have been carried out properly.

Metal ladders

Whilst more durable than wooden ladders, metal ladders can be subject to corrosion, particularly if a corrosive chemical is accidentally spilt on them. Therefore the first question in this middle section asks if there is any corrosive damage to the ladder. The remaining questions look at the condition: if any rungs are dented, and if there are any sharp edges or splinters. Whilst seemingly minor, the pain and possible infection caused by metal splinters shouldn’t be overlooked!

Wooden ladders

The last and shortest section covers the hazards that are specific to wooden ladders. These are concerned with whether or not there’s evidence of warping or splitting to the wood. If serious enough, these problems can cause the ladder stiles, or one or more rungs to break. This could lead to a fatality, particularly if an extension ladder is being used.


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